Barack Obama may have won as the new President of the United States but the clear winner in the 2008 US Elections is no doubt, Republican Vice-Presidential candidate- Gov. Sarah Palin! She came out of nowhere, from this tiny state of Alaska and a few months later emerged to become a household name more famous than most of the seasoned politicians in Washington. More popular even than body builder turned Terminator actor Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was elected Governor of California in 2003.
Her name is known not only in the US but throughtout the world; and not only the offline world but the online world of the internet. She is the number one most searched keyword in the election and to this day remains to be at the top list. Almost all political websites and blogs keen on their SEOs have made sure they have enough Sarah Palin articles to draw people to their sites and appear on Google searches. And why not?
Unfortunately, we wouldn’t really want to be in her position as her popularity stem from mostly negative campaign started by the liberals. She has been the brunt and favorite target of jokes ranging from subtle, harsh and plain mean! She’s been called different names and honestly we don’t get it. Read more
We saw an article from USA Today that caught our eyes. It was an interview of Google’s Matt Cutts talking about the basics on optimizing one’s site. He didn’t really say things we didn’t know about already nor did he explain extensively on the hows and whats but it is a good read for those just starting to create their own websites.
While professional bloggers and webmasters know a great deal when it comes to the value of duplicate content, we are still seeing a number of websites whereby they promote “my other” blog or “my other” site that shows exactly the same content as the other site. The only difference is the domain name. Our conclusion is that they may be newbies and simply unaware of the effects of their actions. So we come up with this article.
What is duplicate content?
Simply it is text content that is shown elsewhere in the internet- either in your other web pages or other people’s web pages. It is a copy of the same article found in another page in the internet.
More exposure of same content=More Traffic?
When we maintain multiple websites, there is the tendency to cross-promote published articles from within these websites- thinking it would promote the articles more and get added exposure. For most, a simple cut and paste of the entire article does the trick. It stems from the idea that “the more places I put it out there, the more people would see it, so my traffic will increase!” That line of thinking comparably, is like reproducing a book for distribution so more people could get to it.
Unfortunately, that only works in actual products or services for distribution offline. What we do online with our published articles has consequential effects in terms of search engine optimization and rankings. For the unaware, the simple syndication of our articles in feeds and aggregators already qualifies as duplicate content. Same goes as say, maintaining a blog in Blogspot and allowing your Multiply or Facebook account to show the same articles in the respective accounts.
Duplicate content matters to Search engines
Although there is no direct duplicate content penalty, you are making it hard for search engines to rank your individual web pages when it is also available from another source, either the same or nearly the same content. They may be considered duplicate even if they are not fully identical. In this case, search engines will only list or show one version of the content in their search results and you better hope it is your website appearing on the search and not some other sites that syndicated your article without a permanent link back to your original article!
When search engines find duplicate contents, their search algorithm will determine which one is the better article to show in the results. That is only understandable as you don’t want to be typing a keyword and finding four articles with the same exact content found on different web pages. Google and others will filter those articles out and pick the best to show in the result. They would base it on the number and quality of the inbound links connected to the content.
How to avoid Duplicate content
If you must show the same article in your other web pages, choose which one you want Google and others to show in search results. Remember that search engines also see the printer version, mobile version when available on your site on top of your regular content version. Hide the others. How? By Adding a noindex meta tag to your duplicate contents. We showed you how in this previous article:
Require back links from other sources. If you syndicate your articles, make sure the articles point back to your website so search engines know where the content came from. They may like the other content from another site not your own, then your article will not show up in search at all.
Some tips and more explanation on duplicate content from Google may be found on the Webmaster Help center.
What about snippets or quotations?
It’s all right to get a summary or some quotations and lines from your own original article to place it on another site of your own. We stress original article as copying someone else’s article and claiming it your own is a whole different issue- and a serious one at that. That is called plagiarism and original articles are in fact copyrighted and is protected by law. You can not just copy another else’s work. When you do, that is also a duplicate content and it will show.
Make your own original unique content for your websites and avoid getting penalized by Google or by copyright laws.
Here is a tool checker we found to detect duplicate contents from two websites. They give our results in percentage and basically, the lower the percentage- the lower your chances of being penalized by search engines for duplicate content. When checking, you would want a lower percentage result and not higher.
Note: This tool when used will open another browser leading to the host’s website where it can yield the result and interpret it.
Undeniably, Google Adsense is the most popular source for monetizing websites and is the most widely used. If you are a blogger or a publisher for any online business, you most likely have Google Adsense in your websites. Therefore, you must have seen/learned about the updated Terms of Service (TOS) of Google Adsense when you logged into your Google Adsense accounts recently. Upon logging in, you were asked to accept the given terms or not. If you accepted, have you actually read the entire TOS to know what you must or must not do?
In standard Terms and Conditions, either we read or not- we need not have to do anything and as long as we’re doing everything in the most proper and legal way, we won’t run into trouble.
Part of the Google Terms and Conditions read:
The privacy of our visitors to ____.com is important to us.
At _____.com, we recognize that privacy of your personal information is important. Here is information on what types of personal information we receive and collect when you use visit _____.com, and how we safeguard your information. We never sell your personal information to third parties.
As with most other websites, we collect and use the data contained in log files. The information in the log files include your IP (internet protocol) address, your ISP (internet service provider, such as AOL or Shaw Cable), the browser you used to visit our site (such as Internet Explorer or Firefox), the time you visited our site and which pages you visited throughout our site.
Cookies and Web Beacons
We also use third party advertisements on ____.com to support our site. Some of these advertisers may use technology such as cookies and web beacons when they advertise on our site, which will also send these advertisers (such as Google through the Google AdSense program) information including your IP address, your ISP , the browser you used to visit our site, and in some cases, whether you have Flash installed. This is generally used for geotargeting purposes (showing New York real estate ads to someone in New York, for example) or showing certain ads based on specific sites visited (such as showing cooking ads to someone who frequents cooking sites).
You can chose to disable or selectively turn off our cookies or third-party cookies in your browser settings, or by managing preferences in programs such as Norton Internet Security. However, this can affect how you are able to interact with our site as well as other websites. This could include the inability to login to services or programs, such as logging into forums or accounts.
Checked your website lately? How easy is it to navigate? Are your readers often confused what your site is all about? Are you marketing something? What? Is it using too many flash or too many colors? Are you using too many fonts within a page? Too many unnecessary links? Perhaps it is time for a clean up!
Yahoo, Inc. submitted a patent pointing out that search engines may soon be looking at our web page design for consideration in Search rankings. The patent is a method with guidelines determining a usability of a web page.
“It can be important to make web pages easy and pleasing to use, which can be particularly important for web pages it is desired to monetize. This may include, for example, advertisement-containing web pages (of a so-called “web portal,” for example), for which an advertiser pays money when a user views the web page and activates a link of the advertisement. If such web pages are not easy and pleasing to use, the money-making potential of those web pages can be jeopardized. One conventional indication of whether a web page is easy and pleasing to use is called “clutter,” Yahoo further explains on the patent application.
Structural Characteristics of a web page
Here are 51 factors detailed on the patent that search engines may look into for usability of a web page:
* Total number of links
* Total number of words
* Total number of images (non-ad images)
* Image area above the fold (non-ad images)
* Dimensions of page
* Page area (total)
* Page length
* Total number of tables
* Maximum table columns (per table)
* Maximum table rows (per table)
* Total rows
* Total columns
* Total cells
* Average cell padding (per table)
* Average cell spacing (per table)
* Dimensions of fold
* Fold area
* Location of center of fold relative to center of page
* Total number of font sizes used for links
* Total number of font sizes used for headings
* Total number of font sizes used for body text
* Total number of font sizes
* Presence of “tiny” text
* Total number of colors (excluding ads)
* Alignment of page elements
* Average page luminosity
* Fixed vs. relative page width
* Page weight (proxy for load time)
* Total number of ads
* Total ad area
* Area of individual ads
* Area of largest ad above the fold
* Largest ad area
* Total area of ads above the fold
* Page space allocated to ads
* Total number of external ads above the fold
* Total number of external ads below the fold
* Total number of external ads
* Total number of internal ads above the fold
* Total number of internal ads below the fold
* Total number of internal ads
* Number of sponsored link ads above the fold
* Number of sponsored link ads below the fold
* Total number of sponsored link ads
* Number of image ads above the fold
* Number of image ads below the fold
* Total number of image ads
* Number of text ads above the fold
* Number of text ads below the fold
* Total number of text ads
* Position of ads on page
There are three types of links in a blog or website and it is often debated which one helps in ranking our site in search engines. Which one will yield a higher search ranking or does it really help at all for our site to appear in search?
Three Types of Links
One way link
This is a basic link wherein you cite a website in your post and the site doesn’t link back to you. For example, we are linking wikipedia for an article on hyperlinks. Wikipedia doesn’t link back to us so we created a one way link.
Two way or Reciprocal link
This refers to mutual linking of sites. This type of link help each other out in terms of traffic. Most often, bloggers of the same niche or category request each other to exchange links thus gaining more exposure. For example, blogrolls found on personal blogs are almost always placed there with an exchanged link from the other bloggers featured on the roll.
Three way Link
This is believed to be the most effective of all links if we are to listen to webmasters. Most webmasters think that one way link isn’t any good but so is the reciprocal link so they formulated the three way link concept.
This means that website 1 links to website 2, website 2 links to website 3 and website 3 links to website 1- completing the three way linking.
What do we think?
We don ‘t believe that three way linking is the best strategy in yielding higher search engine rankings. Sure it helps but so are the other types of link. We think all are equal and that reciprocal linking is only slightly better.
The most important thing to consider is that good inbound links are the links that will definitely help in getting higher search engine results. The bottomline is that careful consideration should be exercised when linking with other sites. Let us not be in the habit of exchanging links to anybody who asks or to any website we come across just to get a link. Links to our website should be related or within the same topic, niche or category to get better ranking.
You’ve probably been asked many times or you’ve probably asked the question yourself to friends. Admittedly, “googling” is among our most favorite past time when in the internet! We may have been using the phrases “to google,” “googled her,” “googling someone” for years but in case you have not heard, Google is officially a verb in the English-language dictionaries only since 2006; prior to that, it is only a noun and we were using the verb as slang.
So what, right? Well since its inclusion in the English dictionaries as a verb, Google has been concerned that the common usage in phrases like “to google someone” or our use of the above line, “googling” is among our most favorite past time… poses a threat to the branding of Google as a company. They are pleading and showing us in their blog how to use Google in the right context and are really telling the media not to use Google to refer to a general search, rather use Google in its context- that is to search using the Google search engine as described in the dictionary.
They have good reason to be worried. We’ve seen it happen to so many brand names when its wide generic usage eventually lead to losing the brand name and given for public use forgetting the company who owns it. Bayer had to give away aspirin as a brand name in the United States (although in some countries, Bayer still keeps Aspirin as a brand). The term elevator, thermos, escalator, walkman, q-tips, chapstick, cellophane, dry ice, brassiere, frisbee, xerox, fedex, kleenex, band-aid, lycra, jell-o, scotch tape, kool-aid are just some of the names we use commonly and interchangeably with any other related product.
Can you xerox this book by the end of the day? (should be, can you photocopy this book…?)
Wipe your nose with a Kleenex. (Kimberly-clark Corp. aren’t really happy every time we use kleenex to refer to other competing brands so it should have been: Wipe your nose with a tissue.)
Please buy the cheapest scotch tape you could find. (Huh? Scoth tape is a brand owned by 3M but we never say, Please buy the cheapest adhesive tape you could find.)
You can take the elevator or the escalator. (Very few would say: You can take the lift or the electric powered stairs)
I always carry a band-aid with me. (even if what I actually carry is a store brand adhesive strip)
I bring a thermos to work. (even if my thermal flask is from Farberware)
I carry my iPod everyday! (even if I have a Zune mp3 player; we’ve added this one because Apple Computer is also defending its iPod usage to strictly refer to the iPod and not any other mp3 players.)
How do you “Google”?
Do you Google on Yahoo or MSN? Of course not! When we say: “I google,” we mean it as searching and using THE Google search engine, nothing more. We’ve heard very minor instances when someone actually said: “can you Google this person in Yahoo! please?”
That is exactly what Google is trying to safeguard. However, we really do not see Google going down the path of say Kleenex or escalator. Far from it. “To google” is very obvious that what we’re referring to is the Google search site. Google is the company name. It is hard to dissociate google the verb to the Google the company. In fact search is widely accepted to be synonymous with the Google search.
Google can not censor and sue just about any Tom, Dick and Harry who uses the phrase: “Google him on Yahoo! ”
Google can not stop people from using the word as a verb more so now that the word is listed in the English dictionaries. The word is spreading and it’s usage getting wider and it is there for the next generations to come.